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Career Development

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What better way to prepare for your future than by studying successful chemists who came before you. This will not only show you a career path that someone else has taken, but it will also introduce you to new awards, undiscovered university/college programs and past research collaboration efforts.



Dudley Robert Herschbach, 84, is an American chemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi in 1986 "for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes." Since 2003, he was an emeritus professor of science at Harvard University. He is currently on a “perpetual sabbatical” and spends time researching strategies for quantum computation, transformations of electronic structure induced by superintense laser fields, and generic properties of phase transitions in molecular fluids.


Here’s a few fun facts about this award-winning chemist that should encourage you study harder and work harder in the field:

  • He spent most of his childhood milking a cow, feeding the livestock, or picking fruits.
  • He studied Mathematics (B.S.) and Chemistry (M.S.) at Stanford University, followed by Physics (A.M.) and Chemical Physics (PhD) at Harvard University.
  • His chief mentor at Stanford, Harold Johnston hired him as a summer research assistant, and taught him chemical kinetics in his senior year.
  • In 1959, Herschbach joined the University of California at Berkeley, where he was initially appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry and two years later, Associate Professor.
  • In 1963, he joined the faculty of Harvard as Professor of Chemistry. There, he continued his work on molecular-beam reactive dynamics.
  • Herschbach married an Organic Chemistry Harvard student, Georgene Botyos in 1964.
  • He has also received the Jaroslav Heyrovsky Medal (1992), the Sierra Nevada Distinguished Chemist Award (1993), the Kosolapoff Award of the ACS (1994), the William Walker Prize (1994) and the Council of Scientific Society President's Award for Support of Science (1999).
  • He has published over 400 scholarly papers.


Want to strengthen your skills to have an extensive résumé like Herschbach? Sign up for an upcoming Professional Education course, brought to you by the ACS Career Navigator.

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It is becoming more common for recruiters to require candidates to prepare a presentation to prove that they’re the right person for the job. Not only will this allow the candidate to showcase their passion and skill set, but it will also allow recruiters to learn the thought-process and creativity of a potential hire. Here are four ways candidates benefit from delivering an interview presentation:

  1. Prove you can do the job
  2. Demonstrate your written communication skills
  3. Showcase your verbal communication skills
  4. Show that you are diligent

Want to learn how to prepare for an academic faculty interview? Download our new eBook entitled “10 Tips to Help You Get a Faculty Job.” This free resource will show you how to convince a panel of professors that you’re qualified to lead research, teach courses and add value to your chosen university or college.

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Every year, numerous graduate students and postdocs apply for academic faculty jobs in hopes of securing an on-campus panel interview. After being selected as a candidate, you must convince a panel of established professors that you have what it takes to lead a research project, teach various courses and add value to the university.


To provide guidance to first-time candidates, Chemical & Engineering News magazine asked faculty members at large research universities to share their advice based on stories about memorable interviews. Based on this study, here are three pieces of advice shared in an eBook entitled “10 Tips to Help You Get a Faculty Job.”


  1. Use all available resources: A candidate’s academic mentor is often a great source of finding open positions in line with one’s research interest. A common mistake made by students and postdocs, however, is assuming that their mentors can get them a job, points out Peter J. Stang, organic chemistry professor at the University of Utah. “A mentor can open doors, but the candidate must get the job,” he says.
  2. Spend time learning about the faculty and the university: Aside from simply knowing where you are, doing your homework on the faculty can come in handy. According to Alan G. Marshall, chemistry and biochemistry professor at Florida State University, the most renowned organic chemist in the department asked a candidate to justify the feasibility of one of the reactions in his proposal. “Without missing a beat, the candidate cited one of the faculty member’s own publications as the rationale,” he says.
  3. Keep your presentation on target and time: Aside from the standard presentation tips of not packing slides with lots of words and then reading them to the audience, many of the faculty contacted by C&EN stressed the importance of not running long during presentations. Chemistry professor emeritus at Boston University Morton Z. Hoffman says, “If your seminar is scheduled for a one-hour slot, plan your presentation for 45 minutes to allow for the fact that you are apt to be interrupted by questions and to leave plenty of time for discussion.” He adds that “it’s bad form to push the schedule so no one can ask questions,” because the interviewing faculty might wonder if that was done deliberately.


For more advice on preparing for an academic faculty interview, download the eBook “10 Tips to Help You Get a Faculty Job.”

Visit the newly revamped ACS Career Fair, held inside the Expo hall at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, CA and meet with top employers such as Brewer Science for your next career opportunity.


About Brewer Science

Brewer Science is a global technology leader in developing and manufacturing innovative materials and processes for the fabrication of semiconductors and microelectronic devices. Brewer Science is creating technology that moves the world.


Careers at Brewer Science

Brewer Science professionals are among the most enterprising and highly regarded in their fields, across the globe.


When you join Brewer Science, you join a team of hardworking professionals that’s unparalleled in the industry — along with a company culture that emphasizes a healthy work/life balance, environmental soundness, and a tradition of giving back to the community.


Newcomers to the team are often pleasantly surprised to discover how much they emphasize personal professional growth company-wide. Innovative thinking and problem solving is fostered at all levels, and many of their best people end up excelling in company roles that are different from their initial jobs. Employees also enjoy the option of traveling to or working in our other sites across the globe, representing Brewer Science to other world cultures.


Learn more about careers at Brewer Science


Our People

Brewer Science employees are recognized as some of the most talented and innovative specialists in their fields. Many started as paid college interns in our highly regarded summer programs; in fact, about 70 percent of eligible interns join the company full-time once they graduate. Others come straight from the nation’s most competitive college programs, or are recruited from top positions with other leading firms.


Learn more about Brewer Science


Want to meet with Brewer Science and other great employers? ACS members can create an online profile, upload resumes, search job postings, and even schedule interviews with participating employers, all at the Career Fair. Not a member? You can still stop by employers' booths and network to find your next career opportunity.


Find Brewer Science at booth 1927 in the expo hall!

Visit the newly revamped ACS Career Fair, held inside the Expo hall at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, CA and meet with top employers such as KAUST for your next career or study opportunity.


Who is KAUST?

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate-level research university located on the shores of the Red Sea. The students, faculty, scientists and engineers at KAUST are addressing some of the worlds’ most pressing challenges related to food, water, energy and the environment.


What’s it like to work at KAUST?

KAUST believes that personal fulfillment and discovery are integral aspects of a rewarding professional life; the university makes it easy for faculty, staff and postdocs to balance their professional responsibilities with other aspects of their lives. Learn more about KAUST.


Opportunities in the KAUST Core Labs

The KAUST Core Labs provide state-of-the-art facilities, training and services to the KAUST research community, collaborators and industrial partners.


Video: A Look inside the KAUST Core Labs


Current Core Labs open positions

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Chromatography & Mass Spec. Team Lead
  • Proteomics/Mass Spectrometry - Senior Technical Specialist
  • Physical Characterization Scientist
  • Next Generation Sequencing & qPCR - Senior Technical Specialist
  • Single Cell Genomics Scientist with flow cytometry experience

Other opportunities at KAUST

  • Equipment Planning Specialist
  • Laboratory Equipment Maintenance Engineer/Specialist
  • Laboratory Equipment Maintenance Technician

ACS members, create an online profile and upload your resume to apply for these jobs.


What’s it like to study at KAUST?

Students have the opportunity to access to state-of-the-art labs and our eminent faculty, while obtaining a diverse graduate study experience.


Video: What’s it like to be a student at KAUST


All admitted students to KAUST receive these benefits, which supports students for the duration of their graduate studies. The benefits of the KAUST Fellowship include:

  • Full tuition support
  • Monthly living allowance (ranging between $20,000-30,000 annual, depending on qualifications and progression through degree programs)
  • Housing
  • Medical and dental coverage
  • Relocation support

Learn more about studying at KAUST.

Want to hear more? Attend the Expo theater presentations, “Life at KAUST” at 6 PM on April 2, “My Journey to KAUST – From Intern to Ph.D. Student” at 2:30 PM on April 3, and “KAUST: A Research Destination” at 2:30 PM on April 4.


Want to meet with KAUST and other great employers? ACS members can create an online profile, upload resumes, search job postings, and even schedule interviews with participating employers, all at the Career Fair. Not a member? You can still stop by employers’ booths and network to find your next career or study opportunity.


Find KAUST at booth 1725 on the expo floor! Participate in raffles and explore their research through virtual reality headsets. ACS Career Fair hours are Sunday, 6 - 8:30 PM and 9 AM to 5 PM on Monday and Tuesday, April 2-4, 2017.

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How you feel during crunch time is a real way to determine if you are an efficient reactor or if you’re better off planning tasks. Think about the last time your professor or boss allowed you to pick the deadline for an assignment. Now, think of the time they demanded a quick turnaround for the task at hand. If you felt like you performed best with a self-selected or set deadline, then you’re more than likely a planner. But if you enjoyed the rush of the unexpected and believe you submitted quality work, then you’re probably a reactor.


There are pros and cons to being a planner and reactor. According to an article by the ACS Career Navigator (published in C&EN), there are differences in how these two work styles live in the moment, strike a balance and set expectations. Improve your project workflow by learning how to work with colleagues who complement your strengths, adding spontaneity or more structure to your life, and providing advance notice of new assignments to the appropriate team members.


Sign up for a Professional Development webinar to advance your workplace skills.

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Are you a leader at your company or trying to improve your leadership skills? It’s important to know the behaviors and habits that will make your goal a success. According to Ladders, here are five ways you can set yourself apart as a workplace leader.

  1. Know your objective and execute accordingly
  2. Establish an environment of effective communication
  3. Practice precise time investment
  4. Embrace risk, loss and failure
  5. Stay disciplined

Take advantage of leadership courses offered at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco from April 2-4. The following four-hour courses will be facilitated:

  • - Developing Communications Strategies
  • - Engaging Colleagues in Dialogue
  • - Leading Change
  • - Coaching and Feedback
  • - Leading Without Authority

Register for an ACS Leadership Development System course to give your resume the boost it deserves.

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As a leader, it is important to maintain your identity and momentum in order to live out your vision and lead a pack that believes in you.


According to Entrepreneur.com, “here are five steps to make sure you don’t allow the marketplace, and what others want you to be, dictate your career destiny.”


1. Don’t let negativity disrupt your goals

2. Avoid those who are envious

3. Surround yourself with those that have your back

4. Don’t be misguided by an ignorant mindset

5. Work smarter and harder than everyone else


In addition to these steps, we encourage you to take advantage of ACS Career Pathways, a program dedicated to helping budding and career chemists determine which career path is best for chemical professionals: Industry, Higher Education, Government, or Working for Yourself. Learn more about ACS Career Pathways

2017 is right around the corner, which means you will have a fresh start to getting the continued education you desire.


ACS Professional Education (ProEd) offers a wealth of courses throughout the year to accommodate the learning and exploratory needs of chemical professionals. The best part is that courses are taught in-person or online by experienced instructors who are leaders in their respective fields. Scholars can choose from a range of chemistry categories: Analytical, Biological/Medicinal, Computers/Statistics/Engineering, General, Organic/Physical, Polymer, Professional Development, and Regulatory/Environmental.


Watch testimonies about the benefits of ProEd courses

Don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at these testimonial videos to find out what past participants gained from four ProEd courses. (Click each course title or image to watch the video and sign up for a course.)


Course: 1-D and 2-D NMR Spectroscopy: Structure Determination of Small Molecule Organic Compounds

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Course: Experimental Design for Productivity and Quality in Research & Development

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Course: Gas Chromatography: Fundamentals, Troubleshooting, and Method Development

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Course: High Performance Liquid Chromatography: Fundamentals, Troubleshooting, and Method Development

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By planning ahead for the year, you’re sure to get a head start on your 2017 goals. Register for a ProEd course today! (ACS members benefit from reduced pricing for select courses.)

There are many areas of focus that a chemist can pursue throughout their professional career. The world of chemistry includes everything from analytical chemistry to small business chemistry – and beyond!


For this very reason, the American Chemical Society has 32 Technical Divisions, which allow subject matter experts of chemistry to get together and share their passion about their specialization. These divisions offer a variety of networking events, meeting programming, and workshops to help members advance their careers. Members can publish in ACS journals and present papers at ACS and Division events throughout the year. They also have the ability to apply for a variety of awards and fellowships.


Most Technical Divisions offer 1 free year of membership to new ACS Members and some even offer a free year to existing members!


As a part of a video series, members are sharing their technical division stories. In these videos they discuss how they benefit from their involvement in a technical division. Watch what fellow chemists have to say in this first set of testimonial videos. (Click each image to watch the video)


Anna Cavinato speaks about how her membership has been shaped by involvement in the activities of the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry (ANYL).

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In this video, Dr. Michelle Kidder encourages membership in the ACS Division of Energy & Fuels (ENFL) if you’re looking for a place to contribute and help advance your science.

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Anastasia Ilgen talks about how she joined the ACS Geochemistry Division (GEOC) as a student and remained active because of the strong sense of community it offers.

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Jennifer Maclachlan shares her perspective on all of the great networking and meeting programming opportunities for members in the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses (SCHB).

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Want to join a group of like-minded chemists and make important connections that will advance your career? Sign up for a technical division today!

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Are you recently unemployed or looking to change careers and looking for support in your job search? Then you should consider fostering a social network.


The great thing about networking with peers during your job search is that you have greater resources when collaborating with others.


Here are a few benefits of “teaming” to find a job, according to highlyeffectivejobsearch.com:

  • a group of people committed to helping each other in job search
  • an advisory panel that knows you and your search
  • a way to make the sometimes difficult job of job hunting easier and more pleasant.


There are a number of ways to develop a job search team, such as sending a mass message to your peers, asking career counselors to team you up with equally ambitious students or hand picking individuals to team up with prior to graduation.


Alternatively, you can join the ACS Job Club. This club consists of ACS members who support each other by sharing advice, celebrating successes, and providing much-needed encouragement. The Job Club meets every other Tuesday at 2:00 PM ET.


We encourage you to join this club to network, learn about open positions, and make lasting connections to aid in your job search. Sign up today to attend the next meeting.

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(Click the picture or here to watch the "Job Search Strategies for Chemical Professionals" video)


If you are looking to advance your career, it is important that you strengthen your job search strategies and polish your resume. In this short video, a group of chemists find out how they can get hired by examining their work values, identifying their dream job, searching for opportunities on C&EN Jobs, and networking with working chemists. Watch the video to learn how this team inspires each other to move on to their next job.


Learn more job search strategies through resources provided by our Career Services.

1. The top paying industry for chemists is Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing with an annual mean wage of $76,610

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2. The top state with the highest employment level for chemists is California with an annual mean wage of $84,600

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3. The top paying state for chemists is the District of Columbia with an annual mean wage of $117,610

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To learn more about the workforce for chemists, read the C&EN Employment & Salary Survey 2015.

All data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2015).


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"CEP’s biennial salary survey is presented in the June 2015 issue and includes a quantitative analysis of chemical engineering salaries relative to variables such as age, experience, functional area, state, industry, etc." [Source: AIChE]


Learn more about salary and employment trends for chemists.

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[Pictured: Eric Breitung, a senior research scientist for the Metropolitan Museum of Art / Credit: LeighAnne Olsen]


As the saying goes: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.


Being a skilled chemist is key to excelling in your career; however, the ability to network is equally important.


Case in point, a senior research scientist for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met), Eric Breitung, was fortunate enough to earn his position after nine years of effective networking.


In 2006, he applied for a position at the Met, but didn’t get the job. Nevertheless, he contacted Marco Leona, the department head, and was able to foster a strong relationship and get a one-year fellowship.


In 2015, after years of continued communication, Leona encouraged Breitung to apply for the senior research scientist position at the Met, which he later earned and accepted. As a result, Breitung’s interest in science and art is combined through his daily responsibility of overseeing the museum’s chemical environment.


If your dream is to work in industry, like Breitung, then you’re in luck!

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